News Release

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Student peer educators present at national conference

11/14/2008

Five Miami University students who are peer health educators will present at the BACCHUS Network General Assembly in Columbus, Nov. 14-15. The students are HAWKS (Health Advocates for Wellness Knowledge and Skills) from Miami's office of health education.

The national conference typically has about 1,100 student participants and a competitive program presentation process, according to Leslie Haxby McNeill, assistant director of health education.

"Gimme a Little Head Room" will be presented by Stefanie Sliger, a senior social work major and Sarah Pearcy, a senior health studies major. "Head Room," developed in consultation with the university's student counseling service, is the student version of the Campus Assistance Program (CAP). The program aims to better identify and support students who may be dealing with psychosocial, educational and other issues that have adverse impacts on their lives.

"Newbies Galore: Recruiting and Training Your New Peer Health Educators" will be presented by Jillian Karem, a junior middle childhood education major, and Elise Huang, a senior double major in English and exercise science. "Newbies" showcases Miami's nationally recognized staff recruitment, selection and development process.

"Operation Jungle Red: Embrace Your Inner Strength" will be presented by Reginald Fennell, professor of kinesiology and health, and Renee Angelo, a senior double major in health education and health studies. "Operation Jungle Red" commemorates the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy and raises awareness about male violence on college campuses. It encourages conversations about ways to reduce similar violent acts and seeks ways to increase more male participation in such conversations.

The BACCHUS Network www.bacchusgamma.org/ is a university- and community-based network of peer educators focusing on comprehensive health and safety initiatives. The BACCHUS philosophy is that students can play a uniquely effective role - unmatched by professional educators - in encouraging their peers to consider, talk honestly about and develop responsible habits and attitudes toward high-risk health and safety issues.

Miami professional staff and students have been involved with BACCHUS for several years, including serving as area consultants (Susan Vaughn and Karen Murray), student area coordinator, and state coordinator for Ohio (Leslie Haxby McNeill).

Previously, BACCHUS has recognized Miami as Outstanding Program of the Year, Outstanding Affiliate, and with Outstanding Student Leader and Outstanding Adviser awards.

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